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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-24-2016

Pittsburgh Press, May 24, 1916:

Mike Mowrey was put out of yesterday’s game after he had been called out at second on a close play. He laid on the ground and gave an imitation of swimming. Umpire Byron promptly ordered him from the field.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 24, 2016 at 09:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, umpshow

Monday, May 23, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-23-2016

Pittsburgh Press, May 23, 1916:

Ray Caldwell of the New York Yankees, owes his late start this spring to a peculiar accident which befell him in the spring training came at Macon, Ga. While carving his initials on his favorite bat the knife slipped and cut into the top of his right index finger.

When a pitcher starts fooling with a bat there’s no telling what will happen to him. People should never monkey with machinery they don’t know anything about.

Caldwell was actually a pretty decent hitter, good enough that he spent some time as a position player. Ray played 46 games in the outfield, started 17 in center, and even got a few starts at first base. He was a career .248/.297/.322 (78 OPS+) hitter - not someone you’d want as a regular starter, but good enough that he wouldn’t kill you if you needed him to fill in as a backup center fielder.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 23, 2016 at 09:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ray caldwell

Friday, May 20, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-20-2016

Chicago Eagle, May 20, 1916:

“Baseball insanity,” says the Toledo Blade, “is a glorious affliction.” Who is loony now?
* * *
Catcher Nunnamaker of the Yankees won a wrist watch in a raffle a short time ago, but he is afraid to wear it.
* * *
Betzel, the nifty second baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals, carries around six initials to his name. He signs the little old pay check thus: C. F. A. J. H. D. Betzel.

Christian Frederick Albert John Henry David Betzel, in case you were wondering.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 20, 2016 at 09:50 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-19-2016

Pittsburgh Press, May 19, 1916:

Considering the vast amount of time that is lost at every game by the custom of solemnly pawing, inspecting and arguing over every foul ball that happens to bounce off a wall, why not save the time and give somebody a nice, new job? Why not have at every ball park an official known as “Ball Inspector,” whose duty it shall be to receive all fouls returned to the field, pass upon them and then return them to the pitcher or condemn them as unfit for further play?

Or you could have a few dozen baseballs and use a new one after each foul ball that hits something. But this may not have been possible, given the ongoing Siberian Pony Leather Crisis.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 19, 2016 at 10:39 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, siberian pony leather

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-18-2016

El Paso Herald, May 18, 1916:

CUTSHAW CLOUTS OUT FREAK HIT; BALL CLIMBS FENCE; A HOME RUN

Cutshaw, Bewildered All the Way Through, Runs Back and Forth Between Bases, Not Knowing What to Do Until Some One Tells Him He Has Made a Home Run; Then He Walks Home, Scoring Tally.

This one’s completely absurd and the whole article is a fun read. Apparently the ball hit something on the fence on the fly, bounced straight up, balanced on the top of the wall for what seemed like an eternity, then dropped over for an 11th inning walkoff home run.

If this had been caught on film, it would be legendary.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 18, 2016 at 10:20 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-17-2016

The [Chicago] Day Book, May 17, 1916:

Baseball fans never warm up to a thuggish player. If a player must hit something they’d rather see him hit his stride.

Rougned Odor didn’t get the memo.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 17, 2016 at 10:07 AM | 100 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, May 16, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-16-2016

The [Chicago] Day Book, May 16, 1916:

They’re finicky fellows, those Washington ballplayers. Whenever they visit the Polo grounds in New York they lug along their own dirt from the capital city for hand-drying purposes. They claim the soil in and around home plate in Gotham is “trick dirt,” asserting that instead of drying the moisture on their hands it makes them slippery and the balls and bats harder to handle.

Pine tar, you guys. Use pine tar.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, trick dirt

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Best Pitchers Of All Time | FiveThirtyEight

Pedro was something very, very special.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 13, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pitchers, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-13-2016

Connie Mack, quoted in the Pittsburgh Press, May 13, 1916:

“I am going to start Elmer Myers against the St. Louis team today…There are three reasons why Myers will pitch. First, I think it will help to improve his control, and with control he will be one of the best youngsters I have uncovered in many a moon. Again, he is what I have been hunting for—a fellow who thrives under work, who loves to pitch and who can stand it and improve under it. The third reason is that Myers asked me if he could work on Saturday.

I picked this story to link today because I don’t have any idea what Mack was doing. On May 8, Myers threw a complete game and walked seven batters. On May 11, with two days rest, Myers threw a complete game and walked ten batters. On May 13, with one day rest, Myers threw a complete game and walked six batters. According to Tangotiger’s pitch count estimator, Elmer Myers threw approximately 433 pitches between May 8 and May 13, 1916.

There’s no indication that Myers injured himself as a result of this stretch, but I’m having a tough time wrapping my brain around the amount of crazy on display here.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-12-2016

Seattle Star, May 12, 1916:

Tigers Who Commit Mental Miscues Face Electric Chair—in Clubhouse

Electric chairs, peculiar to our foremost prisons may be used in the future to inject “pep” in brain-weary athletes who commit boners on the ball field. One has been installed in the clubhouse of the Detroit Tigers, but to date Hughey Jennings has refrained from applying heroic treatment to members of his flock who have been guilty of mental faux pases.

One shock has a tendency to nerve the wildest of pitchers for an immediate change of style and certain erratic heavers may soon be invited to take a seat.

What could possibly go wrong?

The article goes on to discuss the Cleveland Indians’ trainer, a former pro boxer, who was rendered unconscious by a jolt from a clubhouse electric chair.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-11-2016

Harrisburg Telegraph, May 11, 1916:

The latest evidence of the growing parallel of baseball ad trapshooting is found of the co-operation between the baseball and gun clubs at Buhl, Idaho.

Realizing the fact that the followers and devotees of the two sports are the same people, the officials of the gun club have made an arrangement with the baseball club for the holding of the shooting events on the same field that the ball club occupies.

When the ball club is not playing, the grounds will be used for shooting purposes.

Must have been a lot of Pull! hitters.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 11, 2016 at 11:16 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Baseball and the Armed Services, Part Three « Our Game

Part three of a great series.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2016 at 09:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Baseball and the Armed Services « Our Game

Part one. You can read Baseball and the Armed Services, Part Two as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 10, 2016 at 01:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-10-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 10, 1916:

Thirty bases on balls were given in the game in which Detroit defeated Philadelphia [yesterday], 16 to 2. Eighteen of those passes were handed out by the [Athletics] twirlers, Ray leading with 12, while Cunningham and Boland of Detroit each gave six.

To this day, that’s the record for most walks by both teams in one game. Here’s the box score. Note the time of game: 2:30.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 10, 2016 at 07:12 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: bad pitchers, dugout, history, walks

Monday, May 09, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-9-2016

Tacoma Times, May 9, 1916:

The Great Falls team in the Northwestern league will hereafter be known as the “Electrics.”

This name was selected by the directors from several hundred submitted in a contest conducted by the newspaper. It is the same name by which the former Great Falls teams have been known.
...
Bill Harley has signed so many old timers to his clib, that the nicknames of “Veterans,” “Granddads,” and “Vets” have automatically affixed themselves to the club.

They blew it. Granddads is a fantastic name for a baseball team. Imagine the logo: A guy nodding off in an easy chair with the remote control in one hand.

I’d buy a hat.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 09, 2016 at 10:06 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, May 06, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-6-2016

Chicago Eagle, May 6, 1916:

Slim Sallee was working against the Giants at the Polo grounds,” said [an unnamed baseball player], “and in the seventh inning the Giants filled the bases and needed only one run to tie. A ball was hit to Sallee, but instead of throwing the ball to the plate and forcing a man, he hurled it to first. When he got back to the bench the rest of the players began to ‘ride’ him and accuse the pitcher of having been rattled by the shouts of the crowd.

“‘Oh, let me alone,’ said ‘Slim,’ plaintively, ‘I didn’t mind the crowd. I was just thinking of my poor little dog at home. He’s all alone.’”

And that’s why it’s called dogging it*.

* - I made this up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 06, 2016 at 10:29 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dog, dogging it, dugout, history, slim sallee

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-5-2016

Bill Speas, quoted in the [Liberty, Mississippi] Southern Herald, May 5, 1916:

“It happened in 1906 in the Pennsylvania and Ohio league…Our opponents had us beaten, about 40 to 0 when one of them hit a ball and slammed it down the right field foul line. The umpire threw in another ball, and he knocked it foul again. Then he hit one at me in left, and after breaking my neck to keep it from rolling into the next state, I got it and threw it into the plate, only it hit the grandstand instead.

“Well, in the meantime, the fielders had recovered the foul balls and the shortstop had one running a man down between second and third, and the second baseman had the other trying to catch a man between first and second. The catcher was chasing the ball I threw in. It looked like a fire in a Chinese laundry the way everybody was running around. I was almost sick from laughing out there in left field.

Cue Yakity Sax.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 05, 2016 at 11:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-4-2016

The [Chicago] Day Book, May 4, 1916:

“Lefty” Russell, who once cost Connie Mack $12,000, is now playing first base for Baltimore.

Not only did Russell cost the Athletics $12,000 (a huge sum at the time) when he was sold in 1910, but he was a pitcher. Not a particularly good sign when your high-priced pitcher becomes a minor league first baseman.

Russell threw 58 big league innings and allowed 113 baserunners. His 6.36 ERA in the dead-ball era was good for a career ERA+ of 49. He wasn’t much of a hitter, either. Russell disappears from the minor league record at age 26 after hitting .227 with one home run as an everyday first baseman for Newark.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 04, 2016 at 12:15 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, lefty russell

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-3-2016

Toledo News-Bee, May 3, 1916:

[Detroit pitcher] Harry [Coveleski] was sitting on the bench when Brother Stan was mowing down the Tigers in Monday’s moist conflict…“Atta boy, Stan, atta boy. Guess that brother of mine hasn’t got something,” he yelled as Veach fouled to Turner.

“That’s it, Stan. You’ve got his number,” he muttered as Sam Crawford hit a roller to Howard, forcing Cobb at second.

“Say, Harry, if you are going to root for Cleveland, go over on the Cleveland bench,” shouted [Detroit third baseman] Oscar Vitt.

Brother Harry was dazed for a minute. He had forgotten Brother Stan was pitching against his own team.

“Say, fellows, I clean forgot,” he said sheepishly…

I imagine this would have been a bit annoying for the Tigers, coming on the heels of Harry refusing to pitch against Stan earlier in the season. I certainly would have been irritated as a teammate.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 07:58 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, harry coveleski, history, stan coveleski

Monday, May 02, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-2-2016

Washington Times, May 2, 1916:

Charlie Chaplin…had the honor of throwing out the first ball at the Los Angeles game, opening the Pacific Coast baseball season for 1916.

After the sphere had been tossed to the first batter to step to the plate, it was presented to Chaplin by the team’s manager. The fans gave the comedian a big hand, despite the fact that the ball, as he hurled it toward the box, fell short, bumping against the head of the umpire. There were no casualties, however.

Chaplin then put on his bowler hat, twirled his cane, and walked away hurriedly.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 02, 2016 at 10:22 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, first pitch, history

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Who Was Ty Cobb? The History We Know That’s Wrong

But what about Cobb’s 19th-century Southern roots? How could someone born in Georgia in 1886 not be a racist? What I found—and again, not because I am the Babe Ruth of researchers, but because I actually did some research—is that Ty Cobb was descended from a long line of abolitionists. His great-grandfather was a minister who preached against slavery and was run out of town for it. His grandfather refused to fight in the Confederate army because of the slavery issue. And his father was an educator and state senator who spoke up for his black constituents and is known to have once broken up a lynch mob.

zenbitz Posted: April 30, 2016 at 11:31 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, racism, ty cobb

An oral history of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run

La Russa:

“So here’s what I thought. I thought, Gibby, he’s hittin’ on one leg. … My thought was, lookit, he’s hurting, I wanted to bring the outfield in because I didn’t think he could hit the ball out of the infield. So I was just trying to protect [against] the bloop. … So I was worried he was going to hit a ground ball through a hole or hit a blooper. So [pitching coach Dave] Duncan says, ‘You know, Steve Sax is on deck. And Eck’ll walk through him like he’s water.’ I said, ‘Hey, who’s the manager? We’re gonna pitch to him.’ ”

Crystal:

“So Duncan asked the same question I did.”

La Russa:

“Dunc didn’t ask it. He said, ‘Walk Gibson.’ I said, ‘I’m making the decisions here.’ And as we walked off the field, he says, ‘Dumb ass.’ “


Friday, April 29, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-29-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 29, 1916:

Charles Wagner laid down his tools in the riveting department of the Hale & Kilburn plant and munched an apple. The proximity of the Athletics’ ball park stirred him to action.

“Play ball,” he said to a fellow-workman, Daniel Dougherty, as the latter assumed a Ty Cobbesque pose with a hammer as a bat.

He threw the core of the apple toward Dougherty, who, in attempting to single to right, let the hammer slip from his hands. It struck Wagner in the head, necessitating his removal to the Samaritan Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull.

Let that be a lesson to you. Don’t play baseball with an apple and a hammer. It may seem like a good idea, but I assure you it is not.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 29, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, stupid ideas

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2016

Bemidji Daily Pioneer, April 28, 1916:

BIBLICAL BASEBALL.

Abel made the first hit; Adam and Eve retired on the first double play; Adam was the first man up. Noah on deck; Abel made the first sacrifice; Noah issued the first rain checks; Eve displayed the first curve; Moses took the first team to a training camp; Elijah’s bears were the original cubs; Reuben was caught stealing by Joseph; Joseph was the first player sold; Lazarus died at first; Laban was the first contract jumper; Elijah’s chariot was the first coach; the dove was the first foul out. When you make a home run after the game, refresh yourself with golden grain juice. Try it. It “satisfies.”

Zacchaeus had season tickets next to Bob Uecker. Julio Franco was Methuselah’s first manager. The serpent was the first to turn two.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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